The Arsenal blame game, and should we change formation again?

Arsenal and Wenger: The biggest frustration you have ever seen… by Goonerboy

So there we have it again Gooners, the positives for me were the one point Arsenal gained and the performance of Ozil. Again another German defender was at the centre of a ridiculous debacle. After giving the ball away, he fluffed his lines and fell down hilariously, am still trying to figure out what fell him perhaps his long legs.

I know many people will have different reasons or opinions as to why we lost yesterday but am not here to form the ‘know it all’ and claim to know the actual cause of the loss. The blame game is sometimes stupid but, football being football, the blame game will always abound. Some will blame Mertesacker (I certainly blame him), some Wenger, some Sanchez and some will think its Cech, everyone is entitled to their opinions as long as it remains an opinion there is no harm.

Wenger is of course the first to be blamed, as he is responsible for everything from team selections to tactics and so on. This brings me to things that frustrates me about Wenger. First is, he is too rigid. He chooses a formation and sticks to it regardless of the opposition and the situation. We are playing a team that sits deep against us and yet he used the 5 defenders formation, why? What are we defending and in my opinion, the formation has not really solved our defensive disorganization or given us any solid shape. This proves the defence is a fundamental problem for this team and only exceptional defenders will excel in this team.

We even went behind and Wenger was as usual too late with his subs and apparently failed to give his players a new directive..”Guys we now have Giroud up there, stop with the sideways passes and supply him the ball”…and I would have personally brought Giroud on immediately after the restart, Wenger and his team makes you wanna break your TV screen.

Secondly, what is the point of having Chambers and Holding if you can’t trust them at all, for God’s sake play one of them on the right of Koscielny if you have to play a 3 man defence. Bellerin and Xhaka have been so poor, Bellerin is clearly not RWB, he plays better when he has a partner ahead of him as he won’t feel the creative burden on that flank.

In my opinion, we need to alternate from time to time and use our normal formations in some games – that’s how it should be – and I would prefer this back line in a back four…





Monreal links up well with Sanchez and Xhaka is off form, Ramsey is injured and Bellerin needs his butt warmed on the bench to get his mojo back, Wilshere can spray the passes from deep, Walcott will be raring to go as he has been on the bench for long, Ozil will be happy to be in the middle again and the we will be fluid in attack.

Lastly, I understand the frustrations we feel as Arsenal fans but I have seen some overreactions on social media already, and it is not good at all.

I already know some of the replies I will get, and the major one will be that we keep making the same mistakes every season which is true but the board of Arsenal have allowed Wenger to stay and there is not much we can do now. I want Wenger gone but I just can’t make that my sole propaganda or agenda as a fan. I try to support the club and be positive as much as I can always, am depressed, sad and angry but one should have control over his emotions esepcially on issues you can’t really influence.

Many will say we are 17 pts from the top but Man United who we consider to have better players are also 11 points behind. I know we have been so bad over the years and Wenger should have at least won the EPL once in the last decade but let’s remember we don’t have the divine right and it is becoming tougher each year, all we can do is support the team and wait for the day Wenger will leave and maybe we will start to see the changes we want, so till then I implore us all to stay positive, support the team and hope for the best.




  1. McLovin says:

    No, we’ve seen this before. After 7-9 years, you get used to it. Can’t wait for the thrill of having Wenger step the fudge out of this club.

  2. Me says:

    Why not change manager instead?
    Or does poor performances and failure not apply to him?

  3. Nayr says:

    as i said earlier mertesacker vs austin was a bad idea.

    and people thumbed me down.

    1. Sue says:

      It was obvious Austin would fancy his chances against Mertesacker! Most people would! He can’t play against West Ham surely????

      1. McLovin says:

        Mertesacker played ONE good game, and that was his only one last season, against Chelsea and somehow he fooled Wenger to think he is good enough to cover for us this season. Even though he’s retiring next summer!

  4. ClassyGunner says:

    Any formation we use will not solve our defensive problems because our players do not seem to understand/regard dangerous positions on the pitch.
    1. They will always try to pass their way out of trouble even if it is just outside our box. Sometimes its better to simply woof the ball out of sight when there is lot of opponent pressure.
    2. Nonchalantly play the ball back/across the danger area. Example Kos for ManU’s first goal. It should be elementary knowledge that when you pass like that you got to be doubly sure that the pass will not be intercepted.
    3. Dangerous back and forth passes between WB and CB with opponents lurking around

    I blame both, Wenger for not drilling this in, and players for failing to understand the basics and then never learning from them

    1. Galen says:

      @classy Gunner. Great stuff from u. I completely agree with everything.

    2. AndersS says:

      You are right.
      You could also add, even though we in theory were playing with 5 defenders, we had so many players in line with or in front of the ball on the throw in, that led to the goal, that it only took 1 mistake and a couple of passes for Austin to be clear in front of our goal. That has everything to do with the players not being drilled correctly about their defensive duties.

  5. Rkw says:

    If staying positive means putting Walcott in the team then I am happy to be miserable!!! The bottom line is that with wenger in charge we are confined to fighting for 4th place and a cup run .. No amount of positive thinking from fans will change that state of affairs and to think otherwise just allows the delusional one to make endless excuses for his own abject failure … And it’s not all abou the money there is not one player I can honestly say has improved under wenger in the last 10 years … Fabregas was the last and he joined us 15 years ago!!! While city have bought quality players it is clear that several have improved under pep in just 2 years … Ottomendi stones delph sterling even silva …but it is the level of effort all their players put in that is so noticeable compared with us … No one wants to please a couple of sedantry geriatrics sitting glum faced on the bench for 90 minutes …. So the only decent stance of fans is to continue to harass wenger and thee management until a change is made that can give us hope of again competing with top teams in Europe

  6. Gelz says:

    Gave up hope on Wenger ever trying to solve this issue a long time ago. So whatever formation we play will make no difference if our defenders are pinging the ball about on the edge of our own area, we are just asking for trouble. Just get the ball forward and let the attackers attack, Wenger has all our defenders thinking they are Paolo Maldini when they are not.

    1. Maks says:

      …and Ramsey thinking that his Ian Wright so he was two times blocking our attackers to score!

  7. Nothing changed says:

    I don’t think it is a matter of formation. The three at the back has seen us allow more goals against than last season when we still played with 4 at the back. Both this and last season our defense is awful.

    To me, it is a matter of coaching. Our players look lost and out of position far too often and frequently up to 5 players chasing the ball leaving opposing players wide op. Stuff you expect to see from a pub team. This problem dates from way before we switched to 3 at the back.
    We don’t seem to coach basic defending principles. And I am speaking about defending as a team. Our CD and fullback are sometimes made to look like fools but often the problem lies with our midfield players being far out of position or losing the ball in the “wrong area”.

    Specifically to yesterday’s game; If Wenger didn’t trust either Chamber or Holding he would have been better off switching to a back for because Mert was always going to suffer.

    But IMO until we start coaching this team properly it will make no difference which CD we buy because they will all be exposed and ruined.

    1. Kilted Gooner says:

      I really don’t get this obsession with 3 at the back, not just at Arsenal, but across the whole league. Fair enough Chelsea used it brilliantly last season but has no one noticed the team who are running away with the league this year are playing 4 at the back??

  8. Galen says:

    We are too inconsistent. But the prmier league is rock solid. People shouldn’t compare us with City, they had Aguero, Toure, B Silva, Gundogan. Stones, Mendy, etc out of their team and it made no difference. This is a squad with serious investment. Am talking about spending £ 1/2 Billion since Pep cam to Manchester and that is just last season. We need some serious investment in this club.

    Our net transfer was positive as in we spent less money than Huddesfield town. No top manager can work in a club with such investments. We have seen Conte openly critisize his boss at Chelsea, We have seen the other mangers like Jose and Pep demanding constant investment.

    This guys won’t last a day at the club. They would all run away after 2 weeks. Don’t Sack Wenger till you know you have £250 million to spend in one transfer window. That’s how much we need to challenge for the title.

    1. ThirdManJW says:

      £250 million to win the league?! That’s very deluded! And if money if so tight, then why doesn’t Wenger generate more money by selling more players then, especially in today’s inflated transfer market?

      How much did Leicester spend to win the league? And before you excuse that as a one off, how much Atletico Madrid spend to win the league a few years ago? How did they finish above Real, and Barca after 38 league games?

      1. McLovin says:

        I don’t think it’s about spending. Every year it’s always someone else than Arsenal. Everyone else but Arsenal (and Pool and Spuds of course).

        – we don’t play the best football
        – we don’t have the best attack
        – we don’t have the best defense (bottom 5 actually)
        – we are not a title challenging side
        – we are not even top 4 side anymore
        – we don’t have the best atmosphere at our stadium (if not the worst)
        – we have the second highest paid manager IN THE WORLD
        – 8th highest wage bill in football IN THE WORLD
        – most expensive tickets in Europe

        Looking at that list, what do we have? We have nothing to be proud of at the moment. Thinking of the last 14 years without a title, only ONE thing has NOT changed at our club. ONE PERSON.

    2. nosa says:

      is the money your money? we are a big club and never you compare us with Huddersfield

  9. Arsenal4Life says:

    First of all we need to change the system to 4232/433 (if we bought 2 very good midfielders) until then we can play 4312 to play with a strong midfield.

    Bellerin Kos Chambers Kolasinac
    Wilshere Coquelin Ramsey
    Lacazette Giroud/Welbeck

    Sell: Sanchez, Mustafi, Debuchy?, Elneny, Walcott maybe even Cech and Ramsey and Giroud
    Buy: GK, 2 CB, 2CM, winger and CF
    But players with power and stamina and real fighters

    1. Nothing changed says:

      Too late to sell Sanchez. We should have sold him this summer when we still could have gotten real money for him.

    2. Patrick says:

      Sell Ramsey and Cech as well? You ought to know Wenger and his policies already. As for the transfer ins you suggested, do you think they are a level above what we currently have?

  10. Maks says:

    It is not nice but I am happy that Ramsey is injured, again, cos now maybe Wilsher will get his PL start….
    …and we won’t be forced to watch headless chicken running all over the pitch and two times blocking our attackers in their attempt to score…
    …who? Ramsey of course!

  11. jon fox says:

    Goonerboy, I was with your comments all the way , until I saw the dread name of Walcott in your team. Now, I do not know how old you are or how long you have been watching but the Walcott I have suffered to watch over the last twelve years in infamous hiding or injured fashion does not deserve to be at our club. YOU SAY “HE IS RARING TO GO”. How I wish that were true, raring to go right out of the door marked exit. As in exit the club. He is by far the most timid, lazy and cowardly player I have seen at Arsenal in the sixty years I have been watching. No exaggeration either. LAZY IS HIS BYWORD!

  12. Vlad says:

    Why does everyone keep saying that we lost? It was a 1-1 draw.

    1. Maks says:

      We played Wenger way… 1000 touches outside of box. We have lost.

  13. Lance says:

    Goonerboy, your comment “Again another German defender was at the centre of a ridiculous debacle” is in bad taste. I hope you are not saying only our German defenders are prone to errors. That sounds racist to me. Footballers of all races, nationalities make mistakes so it is wrong to refer to Mertesacker’s nationality here.

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